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5 Strategies for Supplier Quality Management that Actually Work

01 Aug 2023

The manufacturing industry has witnessed a massive change due to continuously evolving regulatory requirements and complex operational structures. They need to develop quality supply chains throughout the business to attain the goal of customer satisfaction.

The most common problem that manufacturers face is identifying a quality issue before it’s too late to recover. The reason is time-consuming activities like spot checks, creating methodologies to keep a check on quality issues, identifying them, and creating reports.

What could be the next actionable step here?

Manufacturers should invest in a powerful supplier quality management solution to identify the best suppliers based on the costs, quality, and value they deliver without affecting the frequency of the monitoring and reporting activities.

You must be wondering why supplier quality management is such a critical aspect for the manufacturing industry. Let’s quickly look at the reason before any further discussion.

Why Managing Supplier Quality is Important?

Manufacturing business heavily relies on suppliers for the production of their goods and services. They should have a process formulated to manage, monitor, and improve the supplier’s performance to serve customers’ requirements on time that too with the expected quality.

This is why; you should have a supplier selection process. You cannot just rely on any supplier to deliver the desired quality components. The selection process may take time based on the criteria you have, but it’s a total worth to attain your business quality objectives.

Managing your supplier quality well may become one of the key differentiators from your competitors.

How to Ensure Strategic Supplier Quality Management?

If you are also looking to stand out from your competitors, make sure you implement the below-mentioned supplier quality management strategies in your business:

  • Be sure to have an integration-enabled and centralized system for hassle-free management

One of the most common problems with supplier quality management that almost every organization (Be it small or large) faces is widespread and disconnected IT infrastructure. This leads to disparate data sources in financial, designing, engineering, and many more aspects that may result in inaccurate evaluations and uninformed decision-making.

The industry leaders are thinking about implementing a centralized and integrated supplier management system wherein they can collaborate and communicate for all the important functions from designing till delivery. This implies the need for a closed-loop quality management process. Hence, you should look for a supplier quality management software that can integrate with different third-party applications including ERP to fetch more effective data that can transform your QMS into a quality decision-making engine like Qualityze.

Adopting the next-generation solution is the key to achieve quality without wasting any time or efforts in managing disparate and disconnected data and IT systems.

  • Create a standardized evaluation criterion for supplier’s scoreboard

As they say, “Risk is the price you pay for Opportunity”, make sure you take a calculated risk in terms of supplier management because more suppliers imply more risks. Once you have created a supplier risk scoreboard, managing and understanding the critical things becomes important to mitigate the risks. The process becomes even more difficult to handle when companies are associated with many suppliers. Curating the accurate scorecards after evaluating their past and current performance requires a more efficient evaluation system.

This is the reason; the companies need to establish a standardized evaluation system to prepare error-free supplier scorecards. Implementing the advanced supplier management solutions could be the perfect way to establish and communicate a standardized evaluation criterion throughout the organization even if you have geographically dispersed teams.

Every organization needs to understand the significance of having a centralized and standardized system to lower the risks associated with the existing and new suppliers.

  • Curate a list of KPIs for your Suppliers for Improved Performance

To avoid any sort of confusions, every organization must define some KPIs and metrics to measure the supplier performance. A pre-defined list can be used across the organization as we already discussed that standardization and centralization may work wonders for any organization.

The standardized process and metrics will help the entire organization to work in the same direction, which will be beneficial for long term business improvements. You may define the process to be followed to identify or to manage identified nonconformances, product classification metrics for noncompliance, and much more.

Having a supplier management software solution can help sort the entire job for you by enabling you to create a list of KPIs on a centralized platform that can be used throughout the organization.

  • Ensure compliant processes and regular audits

For a regulated environment, it is important that all your processes are compliant. This also requires effective audit processes in place to ensure that all the compliant friendly activities are being followed. Every organization must conduct supplier audits to make sure they are following all the guidelines instructed by regulatory authorities.

Establishing such crucial processes become easy with a supplier quality management solution along with a formal audit process. The better approach could be an eQMS solution that gives you the flexibility to manage supplier as well as audit management processes under one umbrella. Having such a powerful solution is a need of every manufacturing company to have regulated processes.

  • Transform with the Newest Industrial Revolution

“Change is the only Constant” – this applies to every industry including manufacturing. The leaders have already initiated transformation with the new industrial revolutions including Industry 4.0. Also, Industry 5.0 is emerging. Such industrial revolutions help organizations to cope up with the ever-changing business trends and environment.

Every organization should stay updated with the newest trends and industrial revolutions that can help improve their internal operations while serving customers with the best quality products. For example – analytics can help manufacturing organizations to understand the patterns and conditions of the industry better and plan their processes accordingly.

Implement all the five strategies discussed above to experience the change in your supplier quality. Having regulated processes, advanced solutions, and right people in place could help you avoid huge overhead expenses especially the product rework while keeping the supplier quality checked.



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